For Immediate Release: January 10, 2008
Today's funding represents the remaining 25% of Minnesota's regular allocation
(St. Paul, MN…) The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced today that Minnesota has received an additional $19.3 million in federal funds for its Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The money represents the balance of Minnesota's share of regular LIHEAP funds, supplementing the $58.1 million already received by the state for the current heating season.
The Department of Commerce reports it has already served over 87,000 households with heating assistance grants and it will immediately put today's allocation into the hands of the local agencies charged with distributing the funds statewide. Applications for assistance have increased eight to ten percent this year over the same time last year.
LIHEAP is federally funded and administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce through 38 local service providers around the state. The program helps low-income customers pay their heating bills through grant money paid directly to the utility company on behalf of the customer.
Last year, Minnesota served over 120,000 households with $78 million in federal funds. The average grant per household was about $500. Customers with less than 50 percent of the state median income ($38,697 for a family of four) may qualify. Households with seniors, disabled, and children are especially encouraged to apply.
Department of Commerce officials encouraged qualifying families to seek out their local service provider and apply for assistance. Funding is always limited and is administered on a first-come-first-serve basis.
More information about the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can be found on the Minnesota Department of Commerce Website at www.commerce.state.mn.us .